Mellow Mummy: Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker Review : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 11 December 2011

Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker Review

Lara, her cousins and her friends have been putting the brand new Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker to the ultimate test - a direct comparison with the popular VTech First Steps Baby Walker. It makes for a very interesting review, mainly because Lara and her cousins have been using a version of the VTech walker at their grandparent's house ever since their first days so it is a product they recognise and have grown up with - a challenge for any new product to compete with.

The Leapfrog Baby Walker boasts 5 features that make it stand apart from the VTech walker and they are all things that make me, as a parent, very happy. Wide legs, lockable wheels and non-slip wheels are all things that I've felt are lacking in the VTech product for years.

The wide-legs of the Leapfrog Scout and Friends Walker mean that it is noticeably more stable than the VTech model when one of the children is physically walking with it, or when playing with the activities from the front.

The lockable wheels are a stroke of genius. I have always thought it weird that a baby walker would be constructed in such a way that it moves the very second your crawling baby tries to lift themselves up on it and walk. The Leapfrog walker has two small red clips on the wheels which allow you to lock or unlock them. This makes the walker even more stable and is ideal for babies who are just finding their feet and attempting to lift themselves up.

On our living room carpet (which has a very shallow pile) we found the VTech walker to slip rather than roll. The wheels on the Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker have a small textured strip around them which makes them a lot more grippy and so the movement is far more natural. On Nanny's VTech (which is many many years old) the wheels have worn and become shiny with age so it only moves cleanly on a carpet that offers quite a lot of resistance. I think the textured wheels would really help in a house with hard floors too.

The activity plate on both walkers is removable. The clip on our VTech didn't work properly so the plate kept falling off (Nanny's one doesn't behave this way); on the Leapfrog walker the plate clips off and on from the sides (very easy to do). These days Lara is more interested in the activities on the plate than the walker itself so she likes to take the plates off and sit with them on the floor.

I noticed that Lara enjoyed the activities on the VTech walker more than the Leapfrog and would spend more time playing with them. I personally prefer the look of the VTech activity plate too as the primary colours make it look more appealing. The large amount of white on the Leapfrog walker seems to detract from the colours of the activities themselves. I find the music and noises less annoying on the Leapfrog activities - I think the full alphabet song is great but I wish that the a,b,c,d light-up keys were more like the VTech in that they would benefit from having an image association such as ' b for ball'. The range of music on the Leapfrog Baby Walker is wider and of a higher quality too.

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